Mylene Abiva is President and CEO of FELTA, an educational multimedia provider. She also spearheaded their Philippine Robotics program and is an ambassador for the World Robot Olympiad. Learn more about FELTA on their website and Facebook.
What is the mission of FELTA?
Relevant education is responsive to the needs of the times. We modernize education through instructional and training materials using multimedia for public and private schools. With the advances in science and technology, FELTA Multi Media is reaching out to the recesses of the educational system. First in Educational Learning Trends Always (FELTA) was established in 1966 with the aim of providing relevant and world class STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) instructional materials and educational devices.
How did you get involved in Philippine Robotics advocacy?
In 1999, I participated in an international technology exposition and met representatives from LEGO Education. I was fascinated by the moving LEGO exhibit that entailed robotics parts. FELTA was asked to introduce LEGO Robotics in the Philippines. FELTA began by training science teachers on robotics and programming. From an initial eight schools, there are now over 1,000 schools engaged in the Robotics Program in the Philippines.
What is the World Robot Olympiad?
World Robot Olympiad aims to bring together young people all over the world to develop their creativity and problem solving skills by organizing challenging and educational robotics competitions. WRO tournaments are organized in more than 60 countries with over 22,000 teams. The WRO International final is every November and is hosted by a different country each year. World Robot Olympiad Association is a non-profit organization. All revenue from sponsorships and fees is invested in support of the WRO mission, which is to promote robotics in STEM education worldwide.
In January 2018, I was appointed the first World Robot Olympiad Ambassador (representing 58 countries). As WRO Ambassador, I will help strengthen the awareness of the WRO educational robotics program to identify new opportunities for partnerships, strengthen the robotics community, and promote educational robotics in a worldwide audience.
What advice do you have for women who want to pursue leadership positions?
Women should be FEARLESS in pursuing a leadership position. Oftentimes, many women are intimidated by taking the lead because of insecurities, self doubt, family obligations, and even succumbing to intimidation. Women make GREAT Leaders because we are natural multitaskers and are nurturing by nature. I believe we need to break the glass ceiling!
Have you had to make any sacrifices in your personal life to achieve your professional success?
In Asian culture, women are home based while the husbands are the breadwinners. Unfortunately, my ex-husband could not accept and did not support my achievements and rise in the economic and STEM community. I raised my two sons on my own as I wanted them to see me as an example of strength, integrity, love, and someone brave enough to choose happiness and success in our family.
What are ways you stay current? Do you have any favorite websites or podcasts?
Technology is a fast-paced industry. I am a trustee of the Infocomm Technology Association of the Philippines (ITAP). ITAP organizes conferences to keep the IT industry abreast with relevant issues, e.g. cyber security, cloud management, data privacy, etc. As an ITAP trustee, we present the ICT road map for the Department of Information, Communication, and Technology (DICT). I believe being in involved in the IT community provides more up-to-date information